In the dictionary of how to praise with faint damns, this from Jay Ritter (University of South Florida) about uber-banker Frank Quattrone: “[He] doesn’t have the name recognition of a Michael Milken, but he certainly seems to be the guy who pushed the envelope in losing the ethical standards in the late 1990s when it came to IPOs.” It does give Frank something to which to aspire.
Let’s go to the tape on this “high-quality guy” (as Dick Kramlich of NEA weirdly called him):
- Quattrone’s CSFB went from being (nearly) last to first in two years in the IPO derbies
- CSFB’s tech IPOs are down 33.2% from their offering prices — below the 29.1% loss for the average tech IPO
- The prior figure is undoubtedly skewed by CSFB’s handling of Corvis, off a smashing 98% since going public in 2000
My favorite Quattrone anecote? CSFB initiated coverage of the company on Aug. 22, 2000, with its strongest buy rating at $90.81. Over the next twelve months year CSFB reiterated its strongest buy rating nine times, all the way down to $6.40. It then shut up entirely, not even downgrading the stock until it was bouncing along the bottom at $2.23 a share.
Some are suggesting that Quattrone’s position as IPO king and research poo-bah may may have tainted research analysts. “I’m shocked, shocked ….”
”It might be harder to say ‘no’ to Quattrone,” he says.